A United States soldier with South Bay roots has been killed in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Sgt. Nicanor Amper IV of San Jose, 36, died July 5 of wounds he suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.
His father spoke to the San Jose Mercury News. Nicanor Amper III is a hair stylist in Saratoga and said they the family hasn't recieved the full report on his son's death yet.
"He's wanted to be in the military ever since I took him to Fleet Week when he was 7 years old," his father told the paper.
His said his son signed up with the Marines right after graduating from Westmont High School in 1994. He left the Marines after four years and later signed on with the Army.
His dad said Sgt. Amper prayed before each mission, adding that he was sure his son prayed before his death on Tuesday.
Sgt. Amper leaves behind a wife who is living in Fort Knox in Kentucky where he was stationed. He also had two children from a previous marriage who still live in the South Bay, according to friends.
Fort Knox said Sgt. Amper first began his military service as a Marine rifleman in October 1995 and transferred to the Army in September 2005.
They said this was his first combat deployment.
Fort Knox said he had received many awards including:
- Army Commendation Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Korean Defense Service Medal
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
- Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon
- the Naval Sea Service Ribbon
- the Army Service Ribbon
He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.